Orono is named in honor of Chief Joseph Orono (176?-1801), a leader of the Penobscot Nation who supported the American colonists against the British during the American Revolution. Orono was the great-grandson of Chief Madockawando and came from a long line of hereditary Chiefs. Chief Joseph Orono died five years before the incorporation of the Town.
Joseph Orono's portrait is respectfully depicted on the Town Seal, in remembrance of his life and accomplishments. The Town of Orono consulted with representatives of The Penobscot Nation and the Wabanaki Center to ensure the seal is historically correct and respectful.